A few years back, we initiated the process of getting Max into preschool. We knew a move was ahead of us, and wanted to be prepared with an IEP (individualized educational plan) wherever we ended up.
We went to his early intervention meeting, where they did lots of assessments of him...early in the morning...while he was sleeping through most of it. At the end, one of the assessors said, "He'll likely be put in the class with the most severely disabled, because he's diapered." .
I left so discouraged and upset. After all that, they would just put him in a room of kids because he needs a diaper changed? Needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to school. And, as it turned out, life was about to take us for quite a ride.
We sold our house and moved to England...then to California...then back to Colorado. In all that time, in each of those situations, we looked at the schools Max would attend. Even up until last year, when he was to start kindergarten. Except...that pesky H1N1 flu was going around, and even meeting with people from the school was off limits to avoid getting it brought into our house.
So, this was the year. We enrolled him early in the summer, and got the ball rolling on home-bound schooling. We had a meeting a few weeks back with all of the school officials that would be a part of making up his IEP, and his team of educators.
Since then, we've talked on the phone with the school's therapists, and nurse, and his teacher. We finally started school yesterday! Max's teacher, Mrs. G. came for an hour for him to get to know her voice, and to know that she was a safe person for him to be around before getting right into teaching. We still have to finalize his IEP, some time in October, but until then she will come every Tuesday and Thursday to our house and teach him for about an hour each time.
Yesterday, Max was very excited for school! We dressed him in his yellow motorcycle shirt, yellow bandana, and yellow shoes...of course!
When Mrs. G. got here, she and I chatted mostly about his likes and dislikes. She is going to have to get to know his type of communication. And how to push him just enough, without pushing too much! Max was not for us just jabbering away, he was ready for SCHOOL!!!! And he let her know, by starting to fuss and giving his sign for "more"!!!
"Are you ready to learn? I have some cards for you!" Mrs. G. pulled this card out and started telling him about the apple on the other side. "A is for Apple" and "Apples are RED!". She then got in his line of vision and did the sign for "red", that's when he smiled.
Next, it was time for Mrs. G. to explain to Max that when it is time for school, we need to wear our glasses. It would be a cue to him that it was time for school.
And he was okay with that, because Mrs. G. said she would wear her glasses for school too.
The next card was about ice skates and a yellow jacket. He was very attentive to her teaching him. It was at this point I was amazed at his willingness to do school. He's so ready for this!
They ended their time with reading a BIG book. She held up two very large books and asked him to choose with his eyes. This is something I didn't think he would or could do. But, he very clearly looked at the large book with all the animals on it for his choice. So, they "read" the book together.
Here are a couple of videos of their school time.
All in all, a great first time doing school. I am happy he'll be able to do his schooling at home. It will give him the best chance to stay healthy, while still being able to be a part of school!